An organization of Christian fundamentalists has stepped forward with claims the destruction brought on by Hurricane Katrina is God’s judgment against New Orleans for holding festivals like the gay Southern Decadence party, which was scheduled for the state’s Labour Day weekend and has since been cancelled.

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,” said Repent America director Michael Marcavage on the organization’s Web site. “From Girls Gone Wild to Southern Decadence, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same.”

The comments from Repent America came just minutes after New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced that Katrina probably killed thousands of people in the ‘Crescent City’.

“Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster,” Marcavage said. “However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long.”

According to the PlanetOut Network, Repent America’s Web site noted New Orleans’ past three mayors issued official proclamations welcoming visitors to Southern Decadence. The Web site also noted the “New Orleans City Council made other proclamations recognizing the annual homosexual celebration.”

“May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God,” Marcavage concluded, adding a biblical citation from Matthew 5:45: “[God] sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

The Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, executive director of the Metropolitan Community Churches, quoted back from the Bible: “Jeremiah 29 says, ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.’ We rest on these promises.”

“I feel sad that anyone is taking advantage of the suffering of people when they are so vulnerable,” Love told the PlanetOut Network. “So, I am praying for our brothers and sisters who are blaming gays and lesbians for this disastrous hurricane. I ask them to use their energy to pray for those afflicted and to take the resources being used to attack gays and lesbians and use them to provide relief.”

Love added that the MCC was organizing a relief effort.

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